This article was written by Kim Polan from Goulburn Valley Water who graduated from the Leading Teams Emerging Leaders Program in November 2015. 

Having the opportunity to participate in the Emerging Leaders program gave me a chance to further my current leadership skills. Knowing that the days would be long leaving Shepparton at 6.00am and not returning until 7.00pm, I was excited to know what the program entailed.

I was a little nervous but felt excited as to what the program was all about. At the outset, we discussed expectations of the program and what was expected from the group in relation to boundaries.

Topics covered included:

  • The Self Talk Cycle
  • The Relationship Pyramid
  • High Performing Teams

The topic that resonated with me most was the self-talk cycle. I have changed the way I talk and think about myself. Now it is in a much more positive way with more belief within myself.

The group was fortunate to have the presence of Ray McLean for a session. Ray brought his wealth of knowledge and was a valuable contributor to our session. The group discussed what type of leader they ‘wanted’ to be. I want to be a strong leader and voice my opinion without hesitation. We had a little bit of fun by attempting to draw what type of leader we thought we currently are. On a wheel we plotted ‘people of influence’. This included family, friends and work colleagues which we rated our relationship with them. The purpose of this was to see if there are any relationships we could improve. This session made me think about the leader I want to be and has given me the belief I can be a leader.

We completed the DiSC behavioural preference profile. This was to improve the understanding and awareness of your own behavioural preference as well as allowing you to understand other people’s preferences and how best to approach them.

We worked on our personal Trademark. My Trademark: “I am an organised, approachable, dependable and confident leader”. The challenge for myself with my Trademark is confidence. My action for improving is to voice my opinion without hesitation and to develop strategies on how to deal with conflict and/or difficult situations.

We were introduced to self-assessments with Sam and Braden being the chosen ones. They went and completed their own self-assessment whilst the group also completed one. Words were chosen to describe each of them and then details of what to stop, start and keep doing. The assessment allows you to gauge on how you are going/travelling.

The Marshmallow challenge was accepted. The object was to build the tallest tower with the marshmallow on top in a period of time. A lot of fun had by both groups without success! We discussed how to handle/deal with a genuine conversation. What to do before, during and after the conversation. We also were given a situational leadership model which explains the style of leadership. I found the discussion on handling a genuine conversation of importance as this will assist me on how to prepare to deal with conflict and /or difficult situations.

It was challenged to the group to organise a presentation to express what we had gained from the program. Invitations were sent to managers to attend the final session of the program. This would be the first time a group participating in the program had experienced this. As daunting as it sounded we all accepted this challenge.  With the preparation which I had done I was ready. Gaining confidence from the program I spoke and presented well. To finalise the day and the program certificates was given out to all participants in recognition for their participation.

In summary the most valuable information I have taken away from the program is the self-talk cycle. I have gained much more self-assurance. The development of my personal Trademark is there to remind me of the type of leader I am. I would like to thank GV Water for the opportunity to participate in such a great program for developing my leadership skills further and Leading Teams (especially Martine and Ray for being knowledgeable and fun facilitators). Certificates were officially presented to GV Water participants at the WTP in Shepparton by Peter Quinn.

Comments by Neville Whittaker from Goulburn Valley Water

Mark Putman and Neville Whittaker had the pleasure of attending the fifth and final session of the Emerging Leaders Program on 12 November 2015, in support of our team members and representing GV Water management.

Mark and I are extremely proud of the way our team members have grown as a result of the program. To see each of them carry out 10mins presentations on their learnings from the program and how they intend to put these learnings in place with GV Water was outstanding.

 Upcoming Emerging Leaders Programs

Emerging Leaders Program – Melbourne – February 2016

Emerging Leaders Program – Canberra – March 2016

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